This post was last updated on August 8th, 2018.
Ever have hectic days in rapid succession where all you do is work and pretty much nothing else? They can be exhausting, unproductive, and even affect your quality of life. The one method many people advise to follow in situations such as these is to take quick naps every now and then. These are often called power nap(s) when they are taken for short intervals before a large period of activity. You will find varying reports on the benefits of power napping or napping, but if you want an answer for whether napping is good for you or not, it is when you do it right. You need to master the art of power napping to bring the best out of it.
Power Nap Definition
The first thing you need to know about napping is that it cannot be called sleeping. Sleeping is closing your eyes and drifting off for a while with your conscience resting and most of your brain as well. For a nap, you don’t need to do that. A nap can have you just resting and letting your thoughts drift away without any real need to be totally unconscious like you have to while you sleep. Moreover, napping is normally done in shorter durations. It is a short rest that you plan before activity, unlike sleeping which you do in order to restore the energy of your body.
Benefits of Napping
The benefits of napping are immense. In times when you have way too much workload and need to spend long hours at work, napping is what can keep you afloat for most of the time. It allows your brain to rest for a short period of time, refreshing it for all the hectic work it will need to do once you wake up.
Moreover, it is also a great way of resting your body as well. During long working or studying hours, a power nap can be your very best friend. It ensures that you continue what you’re doing without having to take long breaks. Imagine having to meet a deadline but your body can’t take the workload. Something like a 20-30 minutes power nap can thus allow you to work for the next one or two hours without any hesitation or breaks. Napping is a way to ensure that your body and mind does not break during strenuous work or other activities.
What You Need to do For a Good Nap
To have a good nap, you need to keep a number of factors in mind and keep them in check. These include the place you take the nap, the environment, the power nap duration and so much more. Here are the factors you need to take care of when you decide to take nap:
1. The Place You Take the Nap
The place is important, much like how your bed and mattress are important when you go to sleep. You need to find a place around your room where you feel the most comfortable. You need to be completely at ease in order to let your mind float away with ease. If you are uncomfortable, even slightly, your mind will keep thinking about it and your body will keep shuffling around looking for a comfortable spot. This will add even more pressure on your already preoccupied and in the end, it will be a waste of your time, with the nap providing no relief whatsoever.
2. The Temperature
The temperature of the place where you decide to take a nap is also important since it plays a major role in whether you are comfortable or not. If the temperature is too hot or too cold, you will keep either sweating or shivering. Neither situation is ideal to keep your mind at ease. Hence, before you take a power nap you need to ensure that the temperature of the place is something you are comfortable with. Keep it something mild, the perfect resting temperature.
3. The Sound
Since you don’t want to be disturbed and want your mind to be clear of everything, you need to make sure that the place where you go to sleep is as quiet as possible. It has to be exposed to as less sound as possible. If you ensure that, you can rest easy with as less interference to your mind as possible. Close the windows and bring the blinds down or the curtains in front of them. Seal the gaps in the doors if you have to. You need to ensure minimal sound exposure. Even the slightest sound can get annoying when you’re trying to rest. Turning off all electronic devices and putting your phone on silent is another thing you should do.
4. Have Some Caffeine
Although that might seem to be defeating the purpose, caffeine takes 45 minutes to reach your bloodstream and start stimulating your senses. By having some caffeine before you take the nap, you can wake up to a healthy dose of caffeine that can help your mind work faster immediately after it wakes up. Caffeine is not a healthy drink if you’re trying to sleep at night however since it can keep you from sleeping. Therefore, only keep it for naps. Also, avoid it if you’re trying to live with caffeine or are fighting addiction.
5. Wake Up As Soon as Your Alarm Goes Off
If you don’t wake up after your set power nap time, you will be causing a lot of problems for yourself. By waking up when you planned to, your mind jumps into the action straight away with your intent at full force. In order to make the most of the power nap, you need to wake up just as your alarm ends with the power nap duration ends. Moreover, the power nap time you decide has to be carefully planned. It shouldn’t be too short like 5 minutes or too long like an hour. A 20-30 minutes nap is perfect to have your mind active immediately after you wake up.
Bonus Tip – Power Nap Wear
Whether you feel the need for a nap during the day or you are crunching through the night due to your exams, it may not always be easy or possible to have a loud alarm clock. You don’t want to disturb your co-workers, family members or co-habitants.
What most of the people do is either hook their alarm clock to headphones (especially if their alarm clock is a smartphone), or they get a wearable device to help them to wake up. For example, a wrist-wearable Pavlok alarm clock might be a good choice that could wake you up gently without disturbing other people around. However, there are also other similar wereable alarm clocks that can easily and gently wake you up.
A good power nap wear can definitely help you relax and improve the energy efficiency of your napping.